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Maryland men’s soccer plays Virginia to scoreless draw at Audi Field

The Terps still haven’t scored a goal this season, but they’ve drawn their last two matches.

maryland men’s soccer chase gasper Gabe Fernandez / Testudo Times

WASHINGTON — The Maryland men’s soccer team cannot buy a goal. After ending last season by scoring just two goals in their last five games, the Terrapins have been shut out in three straight to start the 2018 season. However, they were able to play No. 7 Virginia to a 0-0 tie after 110 minutes of soccer.

A distinct 7-1 shots-on-goal advantage in favor of the Terrapins (15-10 in shots overall) was the story of the game, as for the second time in a row, nobody could find the back of the net. The goals are bound to come at some point, but the schedule isn’t letting up anytime soon. For now, the Terps are stuck with drawing their opponents.

The Cavaliers came out firing in the first 10 minutes at Audi Field, pushing Maryland’s defense to its limits. Irakoze Donasiyano was able to get two shots off in the eighth minute, the first of which was blocked. His rebound found its way through the back line of the Terrapins but ultimately sailed high of the goal.

From then on, Maryland dominated for the remainder of the first half. Paul Bin, who was a spark plug against Stanford on Friday night, was able to register a shot on goal, but his effort was denied by Colin Shutler with ease.

The best scoring chance of the night came off a Johannes Bergmann free kick in the 26th minute. The lefty crossed the ball to the right side of the net, setting up Sebastian Elney for a point-blank header. However, the senior’s momentum pushed the ball wide right, and the game would remain scoreless.

Maryland controlled time of possession, making plenty of runs towards the net and completing a high percentage of passes. But the Terps ended the first half with a single shot on goal to show for it. On the other hand, the defense did its job stifling Virginia’s attack, keeping it from testing St. Clair.

Sasho Cirovski’s halftime speech must have resonated with the Terps, because they played their best half of the season once play resumed. When the ensuing 45 minutes of play were over, Maryland had put six of its nine shots on goal.

Sebastian Elney had a terrific chance in the 52nd minute when he drove towards the right corner of the goal, and the senior forward ripped a shot at Shutler. He was able to avoid allowing the first goal of his career, knocking the shot out of play for a corner kick.

Two freshmen had great opportunities to make their initial mark in the Maryland soccer record books as William James Herve and Justin Gielen nearly scored in the 67th and 75th minutes, respectively. The former found himself just outside the 18-yard box with a clear look on goal, but his strike carried just above crossbar.

Gielen’s shot did force Shutler to make a save, and the redshirt sophomore was able to stymie the scoring chance. After a late flurry by the Cavaliers late in regulation that resulted in a quartet of corner kicks (all of which were dismissed rather easily), the Terrapins were headed to overtime for a second straight game.

The first period of overtime saw the Terps create three separate scoring chances. Shots by Bin and Amar Sejdic were blocked inside the box, the latter of which resulted in a corner kick. But like the four that came before, it was dismissed without incident. Gielen had a picture-perfect opportunity in the 119th minute, as an Eli Crognale cross led to the freshman having a chance to win the game on a header. But as has been the case all season long thus far, his shot missed the net.

Three things to know

1. Paul Bin is electric. For a Maryland offensive unit that desperately needs someone to step up, it seems as though Paul Bin can be that X-factor. The junior built off his performance against Stanford by posing a legitimate threat to the No. 7 team in the country, flying all over the field and nearly breaking the Terps’ scoreless streak.

2. Dayne St. Clair had an easy night. For the second game in a row, Maryland’s attack and defense combined to keep the ball from Virginia’s forwards. As a result, St. Clair was forced to make just one save. After being pelted by shots in the season opener, he has received a well-deserved break.

3. Another top-10 opponent awaits. Maryland’s schedule has been as grueling as can be so far to start the season, and that will continue on Friday night at Ludwig Field. No. 8 UCLA will attempt to erase the past two meetings in College Park between the teams and finally overtake the Terps on their home field. Sebastian Elney was the hero in 2015 and 2017, scoring game-winning goals in overtime in both contests.